Foster Care Statistics in the U.S.: Background information when reading Raising Wrecker

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Raising Wrecker

A Novel

by Summer Wood

Raising Wrecker by Summer Wood
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2012, 304 pages

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Beyond the Book:
Foster Care Statistics in the U.S.

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As she discusses in the book trailer below, the author, Summer Wood, was once a foster parent of four young boys (ages eight months through four years) in addition to having three boys of her own. This unplanned experience, she says, is what her novel Wrecker grew out of - the exploration of what happens to a child after he is taken from his mother, how he develops, and who takes care of him.



As set forth by AFCARS, the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System, the term "foster care" is defined as "24-hour substitute care for children outside their own homes." This includes "nonrelative foster family homes, relative foster homes, group homes, emergency shelters, residential facilities, and preadoptive homes."

In July 2012, the Child Welfare Information Gateway (a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) stated that as of September 30, 2011, there were an estimated 400,000 children in foster care in the United States. This is a significant decrease compared to the 552,000 children in foster care in 2000. Of these, 27% were in relative homes, 47% were in non-relative foster family homes, 9% were in institutions and 1% were run-aways.

The analysis of statistics such as these can assist organizations in achieving what AFCARS considers the "preferred goal" for children - permanent homes with caring parents. For more information, please visit Child Welfare Information Gateway.

This article was originally published in February 2011, and has been updated for the September 2012 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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